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In Memoriam

Kevin Robert Morgan

Kevin Robert Morgan, 64, of Spearfish, died Friday, April 26, 2024 in Gettysburg, SD after a battle with brain cancer.

Kevin was born April 3, 1960 in Rapid City to Robert and Leola Morgan. Kevin graduated from Stevens High School in 1978. In 1983, he married Angela Fenhaus. They had two daughters, Amie and Katherine. Kevin worked as a logger before becoming a driller and blaster for Summit Industries, Yenter Construction and later Buckley Powder. He was a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the NRA and numerous other organizations. As an avid outdoorsman, Kevin enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. On weekends, he could often be found playing a round of golf before tending to his garden. Kevin had a gift of gab and a knack for story-telling. He never missed an opportunity to share his knowledge of family history, tracing family lineage back generations, and remembering names and dates that most could not. Above all else, he was a loving father and proud Papa.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters Amie (Casey) Lehman of Gettysburg SD, Katherine (Bill) Peterson of Spearfish SD, grandchildren Gabriel, Grace, Liam, Corbin, and Bode, sister Sharon Simon of Mobridge SD, brother Steve (Pat) of Rapid City SD, and many nieces and nephews.

Kevin is preceded in death by his parents Robert (2000) and Leola (2009).

John Melick

January 25, 1952 - February 8, 2024

John Tennent Melick, beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather, passed away on February 8, 2024, after a five year battle with cancer. Born January 25, 1952 in Plainfield, NJ, his family moved to Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Nazareth High School in 1970. John went on to Penn State University where he met his future wife of 48 years, Pamela Leitzel, and the two were married on May 24, 1975. John graduated from Penn State with a degree in Mining Engineering and went on to enjoy a successful career as a licensed professional engineer in the mining industry with Island Creek Coal, Coplay Cement Company, Brooks Equipment Company, and lastly Maurer & Scott, Inc., of Coopersburg, PA, where he worked from 1990 until his retirement in 2021.

John was a longtime member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) and the International Society of Explosives Engineers and held blaster’s licenses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Maryland. With Maurer & Scott, his roles included Senior Technical Representative, General Manager, and Vice President of Operations. During his career in the explosives industry, he established lifelong relationships with countless coworkers and customers, many of whom he considered to be his closest friends.

Upon retirement, John and Pam moved to Oro Valley, Arizona, where John continued to enjoy his pastimes and visits from the many good friends he made during his time in Pennsylvania.

In addition to his wife Pam, John is survived by his son Philip and daughter-in-law Kelly, of Oro Valley, AZ, son William and daughter-in-law Cathleen, of Rochester, NY, grandsons Shane, Cole, and Bennett, brothers James of Collegeville, PA, Andrew of Sao Miguel, Azores, sister Sara, of Missouri City, TX, and numerous nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his parents, William Dixon Melick and Elizabeth Hogeman Melick.

Robert B. Hopler

Robert Bartley Hopler Jr., of North Richland Hills, Texas, passed peacefully surrounded by the love of his family on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

Bob was born on March 3, 1932, and grew up in Madison, New Jersey. After high school he attended college on an ROTC scholarship at the Missouri School of Mines, in Rolla, his keen interest in math and science having led him to the study of engineering. There he met Helen (Gaddy), the love of his life. Over the years they made their home in a number of states and traveled widely. They were married 66 years, until Helen passed in 2021.

Between earning BS and MS degrees in Mining Engineering, he proudly served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. Bob enjoyed his days as an instructor in the handling of military explosives, toxic gases, and flame throwing. Upon leaving active duty, he served as a Company Commander in the Army Reserves, leaving with the rank of Captain.

He had 35 years of experience in explosives industry, including 24 years in R&D, technical service, and project and product management with Hercules Incorporated prior to the acquisition of Hercules’ Explosives Division by Dyno in 1985. In the 1960’s he was instrumental in the introduction of bulk slurry to mines in Minnesota, Michigan, Wyoming, California, and Panama. He was project manager for the R&D and introduction of the Hercudet nonelectric detonator system in the U.S., Canada, and Japan from 1974 to 1984.With Dyno he had product management responsibilities prior to his assignment as Manager of Corporate Technical Service.

Prior to Hercules, his work experience included summer work as a miner in an underground zinc mine in New Jersey, and work as a miner at a gold dredge in Alaska. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he worked as a mining engineer and shift supervisor with the St. Joe Lead Company in underground lead mines in Missouri.

He is a Legion of Honor (50 year) member of SME of AIME; is an Emeritus member of the Society of the Sigma Xi; he belonged to IABTI and was a member and Board Secretary for ISEE. He has served as chairman of the Technical Committee of IME; was a member and subcommittee chairman of the National Academy of Sciences committee on tagging explosives; and served on a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory committee on “Reducing the Ambiguity and Visibility of Signals from Mining Activities,” in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Mr. Hopler testified on the properties of ANFO to the McVeigh grand jury in the Oklahoma City bombing case. He served on the NFPA Technical Committee on Explosives. He served on the Safety & Health Committee of the National Coal Association/National Mining Association, and participated in meetings of the UTRC (Underground Technology Research Council). He was Executive Director of DEDA (the Dyno Explosives Distributor’s Association) from 2001 to 2010.

In addition to authoring some 90 technical papers or presentations on explosives, he contributed “Explosives 100 Years Ago” in the Journal of Explosives Engineering since the magazine’s initial issue in May 1983.A compilation of the articles was published by ISEE in 2001 as “Explosives 100 Years Ago, More or Less - The Book.” He was technical editor of the 17th Edition of the ISEE Blasters’ Handbook. He contributed the initial chapter entitled “The History, Development, and Characteristics of Explosives and Propellants” in both the first and second editions of the book “Forensic Investigation of Explosions.” He was the compiler and editor of histories of the IME. In 1999 he appeared on television in the History Channel presentation entitled “Dynamite.”

He has taught classes and made presentations on explosives at the FBI Academy, the FAA Technical Center, and various ATF and IABTI meetings.

He held 6 US patents and 19 associated foreign patents on various aspects of explosives and mining technology.

Bob retired in 1996 from his position as Manager of Corporate Technical Service for Dyno Nobel Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah. After retirement he started the companies The Old Powderman – Books and Powderman Consulting, Inc.

Lifelong hobbies included woodworking, photography, astronomy, book and stamp collecting. He also had a DIY mentality that knew no bounds- no home or car repair was beyond him. He used an electronics kit to build a color tv, then built it into the family room wall, a marvel in the early 1970s. He took photographs of the 1970 solar eclipse, using a telescope he built himself.

Bob is survived by daughter, Jennifer Ann Haas of Farmington, Minnesota; daughter, Karen Elizabeth Boyer and husband Ken of North Richland Hills, TX; grandchildren, Alex Haas, Madison Haas, Samantha (Boyer) Alderson and husband Kit and great-grandson Emmett; step-grandson Dylan Boyer and wife Tracy.

He is preceded in death by his wife Helen; his parents Robert B. Hopler Sr. and Margaret Hopler; his sister Marilyn Brown and husband Frank, nephew Cliff; and step-grandson Matthew Boyer.

His memorial service will be held at 11:30am on Saturday, March 23 at Center Point Church, North Richland Hills, Texas.

Jon Stiehr

Mr Jon Florian Stiehr, age 76, of Hoschton, passed away on Friday, February 2, 2024.

The memorial service will be held Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church. Pastor John Batusic will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church from 10:00 A.M until the memorial service begins at 11 A.M.

Jon was born May 4, 1947 to the late Florian Elmer Stiehr and Ruth Merrill Stiehr in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He is survived by his wife, Linda Stiehr, stepdaughter and son-in-law Jeanette and Dan Meyers, granddaughters Maddie and Katelyn Meyers, daughter and son-in-law Erin Elizabeth Watson and husband Brant Watson, grandsons Cypres, Quincey, Liam and Ronan, daughter Ericka Jeanne Sanner, brother and sister-in-law Marc and Bari Stiehr, nephew Matthew and his wife Kate Stiehr, niece Kristen and her husband Ryan Lindvall and great nephews Carter and Jackson.

Jon pursued BS degrees in math and science. His first job was as a high school math and science teacher and coach of golf, tennis and junior varsity football. He enlisted in the United States army where he served for two years as a combat engineer. He went on to earn a master’s degree in mining engineering and then devoted 30+ years to the commercial explosives industry. His roles included technical sales representative, plant manager, field trainer, safety and compliance manager, technical writer, editor and trainer. He was member of professional organizations Institute of Manufacturers of Explosives (IME) and International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE). After retiring from field work due to his visual impairment, Jon went on to become editor of the 18th edition of the ISEE handbook, authoring several chapters and managing 25 contributing authors over a five year period. This publication, widely recognized as an industry standard, is available in print and digital versions and is available in both English and Spanish.

Jon was very passionate about classical music, opera, southern gospel and sacred music. He and Linda attended countless concerts during their 25 year marriage. He was member of church choirs until his visual impairment prevented him from being able to see the sheet music or the conductor. He loved baseball memorabilia, the Atlanta Braves, cowboy westerns, television shows from the 1960s, Alfred Hitchcock mysteries and classic movies from the 1940s and 1950s. He loved to travel and collected maps, flags, stamps and coins from foreign countries. He was an avid reader who had collections of books including history, geography, biography and reference books.

The family would like to thank everyone for their love, prayers, visits, and phone calls. A heartfelt thanks to Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Pruitt Home Health along with those caregivers and personal sitters who provided compassionate daily care.

He was a believer and a longtime member of Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church, 4675 Winder Highway, Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the church general fund.

Jon had a keen sense of humor and brought a smile to friends and strangers alike. Jon always had a special place in his heart for the elderly and for people with disabilities. He was a kind and patient man who was generous with his time and his resources. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who touched the lives of many and will be greatly missed.

Russell F. Boren

In Memory of… Russell F. Boren – President ISEE 1992 - 1994

Russell F. Boren, Sr., 91, of Oneonta, AL., passed away on September 10, 2023. Russell loved Auburn, Blount County, all churches, and most of all – his family.

Russell was born and raised in Hayden, AL. He attended St. Bernard High School from where he graduated a semester early. He went straight into college attending St. Bernard Jr. College for three semesters. He went on to get a Civil Engineering degree from Auburn University in December of 1954.

Russell worked as an engineer in the late 50’s and early 60’s for Blount County. Russell worked for Debardeleben Coal Cooperation until he and his uncle formed Pawnee Construction Company. After five years, they left and started Dixie Drilling Cooperation in 1966, and in 1968 they also formed Apache Machine and Supply Company as well as Apache Construction. A little later in 1972, Russell also started Boren Explosives Company. In 1990, he formed a joint venture and worked with Dyno Nobel, until he sold them his part and Boren Explosives Company in 2018. After 50 plus years, Russell elected to liquidate both Dixie Drilling and Apache Construction in 2021. During this time, Russell was also in commercial real estate before he and his sons purchased Limestone Springs in 2020, after living there since 2008. Throughout his years, Russell also owned several coal mines, was involved in the trucking business, and owned Boren Trucking.

Russell served on the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) Board for many years and served as President from 1992-1994. His focus was on education. He was instrumental in the establishment of the SEE Education Foundation and served on the board of trustees of the foundation for many years. He was known to reach into his own pocket when the foundation did not have enough money to award every worthy scholarship applicant. Much of the work and development of ISEE’s Certificate Program - Level One took place during his presidency. This included maintaining relationships with and communicating with regulatory agencies to get the training approved. Rights to the Blasters’ Handbook was purchased from ETI, formerly Dupont, and ABA publishing was purchased which was the beginning of the Blasters’ Library.

He is preceded in death by wife Hazel Boren; son Fred Boren, Jr.; great grandson Connor Wilson. He is survived by son Patrick F. Boren; grandchildren Amanda Boren, Andrea Boren, Rachel Little (Kevin), Olivia Boren, Russell Boren III; great grandchild Ryder Little; brother Jerry Boren (Nelda); daughter-in-law Janie Boren; brother-in-law Charles Puckett.

The family would like to thank all the many employees throughout the years of all the Boren Companies.